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Browning meat AFTER the braise?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Any thoughts on browning meat after it has simmered low and slow in some liquid? Traditionally browning is done beforehand to add flavor to both the meat and the sauce, but I am looking not only for the flavor that results from browning but also the texture of the crust (which is often lost during the braising process). Has anyone tried this before? Best practices? Thoughts on browning in hot oil in a pan vs. throwing it under the broiler?
post #2 of 7
The chinese often deep fry food after a braise for that crispy skin effect on fowl.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 7
To effectively fry or sear the food must be made very dry on the surface. I can't imagine you'd get much joy from trying to sear well braised food because it tends to be both very moist and very fragile.

Perhaps more important, the searing/browning process depends on using heat to convert certain types of compounds on the food surface into others which either carmelize or undergo processes very much like it. To a large extent those processes were either accomplished or permanently blocked during the braise.

On the other hand, I've cooked ribs and chicken until almost done in the smoker, then run them on the grill to get some char, set the glaze, and crisp the skin (the chicken, not the ribs). Smoking may be like braising in a lot of ways, but it's certainly not as wet. And the process depends on either a sauce which will glaze with heat, the unique properties of poultry skin, or both. Oh yes -- and exposure to direct flame.

I'm immature enough to never discourage the torch. Take out the meat, get it clean and dry and hit it with a torch flame. Unless you're setting a glaze (and it's the glaze itself which is going to carmelize), I don't think you'll do much beyond scorching ... but what do I know?

Let me know how it works,
BDL

PS. Phil, I'm not familiar with braised then fried Chinese fowl. Any examples?
post #4 of 7
I've had a little success with this.
After braising say, a pot roast, in the oven for a long time the liquid has usually reduced down to about half the depth of the meat. At that point, I uncover it, spoon the liquid over the top, and raise the temp in the oven to about 450˚F for about 15-20 minutes. This dries the exposed surface of the meat and caramelizes a layer of meat juices all over the top and exposed sides. The crust takes on an intensified version of the pan juices which tastes really great, and the meat remains tender and juicy.
post #5 of 7
Rendang Beef is considered an exception to the usual braising process where the meat is first browned and then slowly braised.  In this dish the meat is slowly braised, and when the liquid evaporates, the meat browns (fries) in the residual spices and coconut oil.  This technique may be applicable to other meat dishes as well.  The technique is used for chicken as well as red meat.
Edited by Schmoozer - 4/6/10 at 3:46am
Schmoozer
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Schmoozer
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

To effectively fry or sear the food must be made very dry on the surface. I can't imagine you'd get much joy from trying to sear well braised food because it tends to be both very moist and very fragile.

Perhaps more important, the searing/browning process depends on using heat to convert certain types of compounds on the food surface into others which either carmelize or undergo processes very much like it. To a large extent those processes were either accomplished or permanently blocked during the braise.

On the other hand, I've cooked ribs and chicken until almost done in the smoker, then run them on the grill to get some char, set the glaze, and crisp the skin (the chicken, not the ribs). Smoking may be like braising in a lot of ways, but it's certainly not as wet. And the process depends on either a sauce which will glaze with heat, the unique properties of poultry skin, or both. Oh yes -- and exposure to direct flame.

I'm immature enough to never discourage the torch. Take out the meat, get it clean and dry and hit it with a torch flame. Unless you're setting a glaze (and it's the glaze itself which is going to carmelize), I don't think you'll do much beyond scorching ... but what do I know?

Let me know how it works,
BDL

PS. Phil, I'm not familiar with braised then fried Chinese fowl. Any examples?
Sorry I missed this a year and a month ago.

Many red cooked dishes do this with chicken, pork or duck.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 7
I do it when I make chicken tajine: it requires marinating the raw chicken in the tajine for a while, then slowly heating the dish until the braise is done (a couple hours, because the dish itself takes a loooong time to heat). Then I take the pieces of chicken out of the braising liquid, and mop them dry as best I can with some paper towels. Then I put a few bits of butter on them and brown them in a very hot oven before serving.
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